February roundup

(Click here for an overview of how I track expenses and what’s included.)

Clothes/grooming: Razors for him, three tops from the thrift store for me. (I’m thinking we need to go back to an electric shaver…)

Debt: To me…

Dining: Whee! Another month under $160. We’ve been busy, what can I say. Busy can sometimes lead to buying more food, but it’s generally cheaper food rather than proper going out and sitting down in a restaurant type meals. This included a lunch catchup with a friend, $20 spent at the food stalls at the CNY Lantern festival, our Valentine’s dinner at the cheap but AMAZING Angie’s Kitchen, and a splashy dinner at Lone Star (had a coupon. Meals were big, although not quite as massive I was led to believe.)

Entertainment: Bowling, golfing.

Fees: Six monthly Visa fees, which I didn’t actually pay out of pocket, thanks to rewards dollars.

Groceries: Managed to keep it low and come in under $500, so I’m ecstatic! Now, to stock up on spices again and get some baking noms…

Apparently even the prices we pay for produce at cheap greengrocers’ are expensive, according to you guys. I guess receipts don’t lie… Fabulously Broke, that was not $0.79 a kg! That was actually $1.99 a kg (the 0.79 referred to the weight of the bananas.) And that’s CHEAP AS CHIPS, girl. No joke.

As I told SF Ordinary Girl, sure we have to import a lot of stuff. But we also grow a lot of produce here, and we’re a nation of nothing if not sheep and cows, so red meat and dairy should NOT be this expensive. (To be fair, we don’t have to pay for health insurance, so maybe it all evens out)

Okay, I’m done talking about groceries. Like, for the next ten years.

Holidays: Booked our hotel for Wellington this weekend, and my birthday trip to Raro. Also bought two high-end sleeping bags from Kathmandu at the Travel Expo for dirt cheap. Travel is going to feature more in our lives, so it’s an investment.

Home: Standing fan. It was needed.

Medical: New contacts, plus cream for my eczema-ravaged skin. It’s calmed down now, touch wood.

Mystery shopping: A free lunch, plus cute stationery I’m going to give to a friend for her birthday (she loves Kikki.K)

Savings: See below for the accurate count, as usual

T fun: We handled this from the main account this month rather than his, at his request.

Utilities: A little higher than usual. We’re using more power as he constantly has the fan on (the joys of being unnaturally huge, I suppose)

Vehicle: A niggly little vibration in the left wheel started recently. T took it to three places. The first two found nothing wrong. But he persisted, and the third did – and they went the extra mile to fix it (result: new transmission, as it was cheaper than fixing the one part.) But now it’s back, so back to the mechanic we go. FML. We have the worst luck with cars. So there went $1500 this month, plus tons on gas because the crappy courtesy car we got chewed petrol like nobody’s business.

Work expenses: A lot of his courses/clothing is subsidised, but not wholly.

Extra income: I made an extra $141 this month. $100 was from my dad for Chinese New Year (ridiculously generous of him, but he’s a Rabbit and it’s the year of the Rabbit…guess he’s more sentimental than I thought). The rest was from mystery shops.

Savings… I didn’t keep a sharp eye on this but it looks like I put away 43% (not bad considering I didn’t get any freelance income this month.) But that was in turn all wiped out by the car repairs. LAME.

How was your February?

4 thoughts on “February roundup

  • Reply Amanda March 1, 2011 at 21:12

    $1.99 for bananas? You’re laughing…Aussie banana prices have gone up to $4.99 a kilo since the floods in Queensland.

  • Reply Emily Jane March 2, 2011 at 02:07

    That’s a really neat way of budgeting – I think I might have to try something like this; I have 3 more months (a personal goal) to clear my debt and I think some semblance of a structured plan (or at least an illustration of what’s keeping me from doing it) would help immensely!

  • Reply Rachel March 2, 2011 at 07:48

    The reason red meat, milk etc which are all produced in NZ are still relatively expensive is due to us having to compete with countries which have agricultural subsidies and the fact that almost all the meat/milk we produce is exported (about 95% of the milk NZ produces is exported). This means doemstic consumers have to pay the same price as what producers could get from overseas. If it makes you feel better we have some of the most efficient primary producers in the world due to them having to get by without govt help. And as the Lincoln Uni study on exporting milk products to the UK showed, it is more environmentally friendly for milk products to be produced here on grass pasture and then shipped half way round the world beacause cows over there have to be housed indoors during winters and are generally fed on grain rather than grass. Sorry about my rant my parents are sheep farmers (very poor returns even though lamb costs heaps in the supermarket) and I get sick of the bashings the public give farmers about the cost of meat/milk beacuse the farmers don’t set it and generally receive a meagre amount of what you pay while they work very hard for the money the do earn (8-10 hour days, 7 days a week).
    P.S. I know you weren’t bashing farmers.
    P.S.S. Long time reader and I really enjoy reading a NZ perspective on pf.

    • Reply eemusings March 2, 2011 at 10:09

      Hey Rachel! Thanks so much for your comment. I always hear our meat and milk is cheaper overseas…guess it’s true. I’m not at all surprised the farmers aren’t making much. Possibly another whole post…

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